Many different compounds and toxins appeared in Camp Lejeune’s water. While some contaminants could cause minor irritations and discomfort, others are carcinogens and highly dangerous to humans. If a person came into contact just once with some of the substances in the water, their risk of developing cancer or other illnesses would be low. However, many Camp Lejeune victims used the water every day, whether living on the base or during work hours. Learn more about multiple myeloma cancer complications from water contamination from our experienced Camp Lejeune contamination lawyers.
Exposure to Harmful Contaminants in Everyday Water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina
The everyday uses of water in work and residential areas include washing, bathing, and drinking. For decades, many people working and living on the base thought the water was safe for consumption and use. Sadly, this was not the case, and every time a person at Camp Lejeune used the water, they were at high risk of exposing themselves to numerous toxic chemicals that could harm their health and wellbeing.
What Contaminants Were in the Water at North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune Base?
Camp Lejeune’s water testing results are distressing. Contaminants were not only found in the water at various points in the contamination timeline, but the water contained highly toxic and dangerous concentrations of cancer-causing substances. The chemicals causing the most concern and the likely culprits of many illnesses in Camp Lejeune residents included PCE, TCE, vinyl chloride, and benzene. These contaminants cause various forms of cancer. TCE and benzene, in particular, are linked to a higher risk of Multiple Myeloma due to environmental exposure.
How Did the Toxic Substances End up in the Water?
Many questions about the extensive contamination that occurred over many years at Camp Lejeune pertain to how it happened. How and who continued to contaminate the water over such an extensive period that reports estimate nearly one million people were potentially affected. The source of the water contamination has different answers depending on the water plant and the contaminant discovered in the water.
Findings indicate that in the case of the Tarawa Terrace water treatment plant, the primary source of the contamination was ABC dry cleaning. ABC was a dry-cleaning company that opened in 1953 that improperly disposed of hazardous materials which seeped into the water system and made their way into homes, businesses, and the military base.
Additional contamination causes at the remaining water treatment plants at Hadnot Point and Holcomb Boulevard included improper storage of solvents and toxic materials, leaks that affected groundwater, industrial spills, and improper disposal of waste and storage facilities throughout the base.
How Long Did the Water Remain Contaminated at the Camp Lejeune Military Base?
It is hard to believe, but the water contamination at Camp Lejeune happened for over 30 years before anyone addressed the situation to protect those living and working on the base. The first signs of contamination at Camp Lejeune occurred as early as 1953. It was not until late 1987 that the water recovered from the toxic contaminants that infiltrated the water system. For many more decades following the water clean-up, victims developed health complications and symptoms relating to the water contamination without any support or compensation.
Is Multiple Myeloma a Common Illness After Exposure to Contaminated Water?
The different contaminants at Camp Lejeune fostered various health problems, complications, and diseases. Multiple Myeloma, along with a host of other cancers and illnesses, occurred in many people that lived and/or worked at Camp Lejeune during the contamination period. Evidence supports that the cause of many of the illnesses in individuals exposed to the toxic water at the base was, in fact, the water itself.
Other illnesses in addition to Multiple Myeloma connected to the Camp Lejeune water contamination include:
- Kidney Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Aplastic Anemia
- Bladder Cancer
- Adult Leukemia
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
The VA identifies this grouping of illnesses as presumptive conditions likely caused by the water contamination at the base in certain individuals exposed over time. While these might be the most common diseases developed in victims, the list is not exhaustive. Many health problems may have occurred to victims and their families after their time at Camp Lejeune.
Examples of additional health risked caused by the Camp Lejeune contamination:
- Birth defects
- Neurobehavioral disorders
- Renal disease
- Breast cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Hepatic steatosis
Can You File a Claim for Damages Due to Your Multiple Myeloma Diagnosis?
To file a legal claim for damages for your illness against the government, you must be eligible for compensation under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act guidelines. The legislation breaks down what the plaintiff must show and prove to be eligible to file suit against the government for a Multiple Myeloma diagnosis.
The following are necessary under the statute to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit:
- You must show that you or a family member worked, lived, or were otherwise exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, to December 31, 1987.
- Civilians, veterans, active military, and families of those stationed at the base are eligible to make a claim.
- You must show that there was a cumulative time of at least 30 days spent at Camp Lejeune. The time does not need to be consecutive. You must show how much time over the years you were at Camp Lejeune, and it must total a minimum of 30 days.
- You must also show proof and evidence of your medical diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma and any other illness developed in the subsequent years following your time at the military base.
How Much Compensation May You Be Eligible for in a Camp Lejeune Settlement?
The compensation you may be eligible for in a Camp Lejeune lawsuit against the government depends on several factors. The severity of your illness, the impact of the illness on your life, and the extent of treatment and management necessary for your disease will determine how much compensation the government might offer you.
There is no way to conclusively know how much compensation each individual might get. However, with the help of a qualified and experienced Camp Lejeune water contamination attorney, you may better understand your damages and settlements the government has offered similarly situated victims in the past.
Damages in a Camp Lejeune water contamination case may include:
- Medical expenses - All costs and expenses relating to your medical care are possibly recoverable as part of a Camp Lejeune water contamination claim.
- Loss of income - The wages you lost or the disease’s effect on your ability to work can be a part of the claim for damages. Lost past, current, and future earnings can be a part of calculating your losses.
- Pain and suffering—This personal loss sets apart the claims made by victims through a lawsuit and the claims for compensation for disability benefits. As part of a lawsuit, you can claim the damages for your physical, emotional, and mental pain and suffering arising from the diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma and through treatment.
How Can You File a Claim for Compensation as a Camp Lejeune Victim?
To optimize your chance of a successful recovery, hire an attorney to represent your interests. A lawyer representing you in a Camp Lejeune water contamination case will help you gather and track down evidence and testimony, calculate your damages, represent you in negotiations, and advise you on accepting any potential settlement offers. A lawyer with experience handling large-scale injury cases, such as the case with the Camp Lejeune contamination, will prioritize your interests and fight for your rights to compensation.
Can You File a Claim If a Loved One Died from Multiple Myeloma After Spending Time At Camp Lejeune?
The long-term outlook and prognosis for an individual suffering from Multiple Myeloma are uncertain as the survivability of the disease drops as time goes on. There is no known cure for Multiple Myeloma, and treatment revolves around maintaining the quality of life of an individual.
Since the water contamination occurred decades prior, many victims suffering from Multiple Myeloma may have already lost their lives to the disease. If you, however, are a family member of a loved one that died of Multiple Myeloma after serving, working, or living at Camp Lejeune, you may have a wrongful death claim on their behalf.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act opens up recovery of losses and damages not only to the victims themselves but, in some situations, to the family of the Camp Lejeune victims. By filing a wrongful death claim, a surviving family member can get compensation for their loved one’s past medical expenses, the victim’s pain and suffering while fighting the illness, funeral and burial expenses, loss of the victim’s companionship, contribution, and earnings to the family unit.
What Is the Statute of Limitations Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?
The legislation allows victims to seek compensation for their losses relating to the events at Camp Lejeune. However, the time to take action is not indefinite. The limited window for victims to make a claim against the government for losses relating to Camp Lejeune is just two years from the date of the law’s passing. You only have until August 10, 2024, to file your claim and lawsuit.
While this may seem like sufficient time, it is not. These cases have decades-old evidence, and it will take time to gather and prepare your case to properly file your lawsuit and give you the highest likelihood of success.
When Should You Call a Lawyer for Help with Your Case?
There is no time to waste and wait if you believe you or a family member is eligible for compensation under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. Contact a personal injury attorney for a free case consultation on the matter. For far too long, the victims of Camp Lejeune have waited for help and justice for their harm. The opportunity to fight for your compensation is here.
A Camp Lejeune water contamination lawyer can go over the history of your case, the evidence available, and whether they believe you are eligible to file a lawsuit against the government for your damages. If you are eligible for compensation, you must take action immediately.